Teen driving dangers: 100 deadliest days

ORLANDO, Fla. - They’re called the “100 deadliest days.” These are the days of summer when teen car crashes are at their peak. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during this short time period. So what can you do to keep your young driver safe for the rest of summer?

If you’re a teenager, this is the ultimate form of freedom. But new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds teen driving is risky.

New teen drivers are three-times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, and summer is the prime time for wrecks. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the average number of deadly teen-driver crashes climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the year. One culprit is distraction.

Sgt. Darren Dillon, of the Orlando Police Department, said “You’re not paying attention to what’s coming up -- pedestrians, bicyclists, other cars, red lights, stop lights.”

It plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. Speeding is a problem in nearly 30 percent of deadly crashes involving teens. And the latest stats show 60 percent of young drivers killed in a crash weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Experts said parents should talk to their teen about these risky behaviors and model good driving skills when they’re in the car. Parents can also make a driving agreement that lists specific rules.

Crashes involving teens spike in the summer because more kids are out of school and on the road. AAA’s StartSmart program offers resources for parents of teen drivers.

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